After taking a short hiatus, I am back with a very cool new software which I found while I was gone. If you’re loving the world of 3D printing like I am, you’re also probably always on the lookout for what’s trending. I recently came across SelfCAD. I took it for a test drive and found some features that definitely peaked my interest.
First, SelfCAD is free for students, teachers and non-profit organizations and $39.99 a year for personal use. This price will give you access to all of their tools (tutorials, sculpting, Slicer, etc..) and you can store your designs locally or on their cloud for free. There are other cool benefits I’ll tell you about here. Let’s start with Magic Fix.
SelfCAD’s Magic Fix is solid. What it does is make sure your model is non-manifold and printable. (MakePrintable chargers $9.99/month for this). As you design more and more advanced objects, you may miss a few edges that don’t connect or leave a space somewhere. Either of these issues, though easy to miss on the screen, will render your design non-manifold. Magic Fix takes care of that before you send your design to the printer.
Sculpting in SelfCad
SelfCAD also has sculpting. I was able to manipulate individual polygons and I saw the potential for creativity. In addition to Sculpting is bending, revolving, and twisting plus multiple shape generators.
If you don’t have your own 3D printer, and you have to send it to a third party (think 3Dhubs), if there’s a design flaw preventing printing, somebody is going to fiddle around with your design to make it print. I don’t know any designer who wants this. They offer a good way to prevent this while not having to export your design and import somewhere else and then send it back to the printer.
You have control over the shell thickness and a choice of nine different infill patterns. If you’re printing from home, the program also includes complete control over the slicer settings, plus, it will tell you how long it will take to print by running an algorithm based on over a 100 pre-loaded 3D printers, choose the one you are going to use. Nobody will have to adjust, break, or fiddle with your design when you send it off for printing.
SelfCad´s Direct Access to MyMiniFactory
Another feature that’s great is their access to MyMiniFactory directly from within the software. If you don’t know about MyMiniFactory, this site offers over 25,000 free objects that are ready to download and print.
Summing up SelfCad…
Overall, SelfCAD is an interesting middle ground for people who are looking for something more advanced than TinkerCad and want an all in one place to design, slice, and print more advanced models with more control. The online 3D software will be making noise for sure in the coming months. Recommended.
Below youll hear an Interview with Aaron Brewer one of the founders at Selfcad.
Also published on Medium.